College Football: Jim Tressel's Saga Widens and NCAA Rules Still a Joke

Deborah HortonContributor IMarch 25, 2011

Jim Tressel
Jim TresselMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jim Tressel's rules violation saga just got a bit wider and more complicated.  

According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, Tressel forwarded emails he received describing the actions of Terrelle Pryor and others to a mentor of Pryor's outside of the football program, which seems to belie earlier statements made by Tressel that he kept the information to himself. 

Tressel has formerly stated that he did not notify the school or the NCAA of these emails or his knowledge of the violations, because confidentiality was requested by the user and he was unsure of who at the school to pass the information along to.  Apparently, however, this confidentiality request was not made until the second email he received, not the first, a full two weeks after he received and apparently forwarded the first email.

As reported by the Columbus Dispatch, Tressel allegedly forwarded information to Ted Sarniak, a prominent Jeanette, PA businessman and person who has not only served as a mentor to Pryor for years, but was instrumental in his recruitment to OSU.  

Apparently, Tressel thought forwarding the emails to Sarniak would help Pryor, but telling the school and the NCAA was not a consideration.  

Tressel claims relief due to confidentiality.  Apparently, confidentiality only applies to the school and the NCAA but not someone who could talk to Pryor, warn him of the consequences of his actions, and allow him to try and cover his tracks before the NCAA finds out.

The NCAA investigation is ongoing, and as we all know, they can take a very long time to come to a conclusion.  Tressel extended his two game suspension to five to match that of the players involved, but this new information brings a whole new wrinkle into the discussion.

There is no way to know what the NCAA will ultimately rule in this case.  Given past history, I feel certain that it will not be anything of significance.  The NCAA, the colleges, the coaches, the players and the boosters are not about actually enforcing the rules.  They are about "appearing" to enforce the rules while allowing everyone to continue on disregarding the rules so that money can be made.

Tressel's case, once resolved will be no different.  To think otherwise would be a mistake.